That quote resonates with me. SO MUCH!😍 All the resonance, lol. I believe books shape us, and yes, that more than at any other time in our lives, the books we read as a child shape who we are and who we become. It's a significant part of why it's so important to put diverse books into the hands of kids (and adults, of course). Stories help us become empathetic, compassionate people. They help us understand our world. They create hope, and they fuel the belief that we can -- and should -- make a positive difference in the world.
Personally, I don't remember -- childhood was a looong time ago, lol. But giving it some thought, honestly I don't recall noticing the impact stories were having on my beliefs and values and priorities. I only knew I loved reading them. And that was enough.
I wonder, though, how different were other kids' reading experiences? Do middle-grade readers notice the impact books have on them? I'd guess only the very self-aware among them do, except occasionally, all readers might, when a specific book comes along that precipitates a dream or drive for them (I must adopt a shelter dog just like Character A did! I vow not to be a bystander when I witness bullying, just like Character B!). But more often, the power of stories is subtle.
I recall loving certain books as a child -- some that I love still -- and I wonder if those books in particular were the ones that most became part of my identity. It's something I want to ponder more. Tell me, do you remember the impact of specific books from your childhood?